DENOART Studio & Gallery is just a few blocks east of downtown Marshall, Texas in an historic house built in 1895. The Cottage Souvenir No. 2, was designed by famous American architect, George F. Barber.
707 East Burleson • Marshall, Texas 75670
George F. Barber (1854-1915) • Architect
Your home is a close match for one of Barber’s published designs, design #2, one that appeared in his pattern book entitled “The Cottage Souvenir No. 2, Revised and enlarged”, which was published in 1892. This is another reason why I believe your estimated year of construction to be pretty accurate. If you check out the second attachment, you will see a copy of the page from this publication, that illustrates this particular design. You may find it interesting to note the estimated cost to build this design, back in 1891. Again, pretty remarkable that something so labor intensive could cost so little, even for way back then. Now you will inevitably notice differences between what Barber published for this design, and your home there in Marshall. This is quite common, and intentional. You see, Barber was a self-taught architect, and so he did not want to be thought of as a hack, who was simply a distributor of stock plans that could be used by anyone, in any location. No, he went to great lengths to convince as many of his clients as he could, to work with him to customize each and every house he designed, so that they experienced the complete & professional services of a real architect, even though they may have been thousands of miles away from each other. Ultimately, Barber used his pattern books as marketing tools and as a portfolio of what was possible, should a potential client decide to hire him as their architect. I would say his strategy worked quite well given the vast numbers of built examples of his designs. Further research into the history of your home has led me to conclude that your home was built by the Texas & Pacific railroad company, as a rental unit for its senior work force. The 1900 and 1910 federal census records show different people in the house, both as renters, but both heads of household were listed with railroad company jobs (one was a dispatcher and the other was a machinist). Also, the available city directories also show numerous different people at your address, also suggesting it was a rental property.
Comments: Dennis, I am trying to research the history of your home, to see if might have been designed by a rather famous, important architect from America's past. Can you share anything with me, regarding the history of your home? Do you have any old photos of it, that show the tower on top of the front porch? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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